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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 19, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST

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the senses this year will be the most expensive in u.s. history, costing more than $14 billion. the commerce department's inspector general will discuss federal spending on the senses. later, lost vegas sun reporter will talk about president barack obama's trip to nevada this is "washington journal. . . çó
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we did this had lined courtesy
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of the newseum. we are starting focusing on health insurance. last -- yesterday kathleen sibelius spoke to reporters and released the report on the cost of health insurance. here is a lookç at the report n "the new york times" this morning. they're right -- -- they write -- we will get to your phone calls momentarily but i do want to play the comments yesterday by health and human services secretary on health insurance rates. >> the democrats have actually been engaged in working on solutions for over a year and comprehensive legislation has passed both the house and senate. a lot of it is very, very similar. there are, as the president said, he wants to hear some
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solutions from the republicans who suggest that they are also interested in health reform. but so far, they have not come to the table with any kind of comprehensive proposal. çthe opportunity is there next çweek to talk about the principles of the president feels are veryç important. lowering costs for families and businesses. and again, the congressional budget office has suggested that if you look at just the individual market, which are report focuses on, and look at the impact of the house and senate bill on the individual market, comparing similar benefit packages and what would happen with health reform, premiums will go down between 14% to 20% just bypassing the bill. addressing cost, long-term sustainability, does not lower the trajectory of health care costs over the long run. i]does it cover more folks inçe end, does it get rid of the insurance practices that lock people or throw people out of the marketplace?
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w3host:okko is health insurance becoming unaffordable? ça quick bit of theç article n "the new york times." ç what is your thought on this? çmemphis, delores on the democrats' line. caller: the insurance companies are increasing premiums when people are out of work. how can a person afford the premiums when you lost your job?
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they are just out for the money. they don't care about the people. theç republicans to not care about them. they are in the insurance pockets. some democrats to. host:xdç north, virginia, this mark. ç-- norfolk, virginia. caller: insurance prices are off the record set -- director scale. i'm married withç children andy premiums skyrocketed, 1600 to $1,700 a month. host: you get itq through employer? w3caller: find it individually because i'm self-employed. to the callers, what we really need to think about it sometimes we can't emotionally get involved and get politically charged and we canç vote and argued against our self
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interest. but the idea that health coverage should cost the way it costs now, it is unbearable, unthinkable. the idea that we could not open up medicare and medicare -- medicaid, that we know works. we know medicare works, even though it can be more efficient. i would suggest we take a young girl pull of healthy individuals, may be the age of 18 to 30, allow them to buy in at unbelievable rates because of their age and health and try to balance some of the current heaviness on the system. host: thanks for your thoughts this morning. a comment from twitter that says -- sarasota, good morning. george on our republican line. caller: my premiums increased 297% in the last five years. i only used the policy wants to
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go to the hospital. it is not sustainable. this year i can't wait to see what blue cross/blue shield of florida is going to do to us. there has to be some sort of legislation in place that prohibits people like myself in the mid 50's from going financially bankrupt because of health care. i have to have healthç care, otherwise it i go to the hospital, i would be bankrupt. ymhost: you are calling on our republican line. what do you want to hear from republican leaders on health care and health insurance? caller: first and foremost to be able to have policies to go across state lines and be able to purchase. i would like to see cost-cutting methods by the insurance companies. i don't think they have to advertise every sporting event and spend millions of dollars on sporting events when your policyholders are actually seeing such fine not -- phenomenal increases. host: "roll call" reported this
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meeting about republican leader staffers meeting. augusta, georgia. democratic collar. --ç caller. caller: my insurance has gone up extremely the past few years. i am a veteran, so for myself i can use the va, but i have a daughter in college. as an employee i used to cross/blue shield. i would recommend that, a, a
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private auction be put on the table because if i had -- private option should be put on the table because if i had a choice, the money is already there. host: you said a private auction -- the mean public option? caller: public option. host: nevada, george on our republican line. good morning. caller: i think they ought to scrap that bill, both of them, and start over again. çhost: what do you start with? george, if they start over again --ç you suggested they start te health care process over again, what do you start with? w3caller:çxd -- host: madison, wisconsin, on our independent line.
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caller: can you hear me? i and a small business owner of madison. -- i'm a small business owner in madison. we had a couple of tough years here. i don't pay myself much at all. i'm the lowest paid employee of my company and i'm looking at literally cutting my salary entirely this year so i can continue to provide health coverage for my employees. i think every american should be covered by health insurance, so i feel very strongly about that. host: how many employees do you have? caller: 5 of that are covered -- one covered by her husband's health plan. we make difficult choices just to have health coverage and i think it's a shame. i used to work for an insurance company. i know all the facets.
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there is certainly room to pass the savings to the participants. i think as a small business, i would like to see some sort of nationalq option where i can buy into a national health plan for my people. host: thanks for your comment. çwe are joined on the phone by abc producer karen travers to talk about president obama's travelç to support candidates. what is behind the president traveling to colorado and nevada? çguest:çç democratic party administration officials say the timing is right. the president has been lamenting that last year he didç not get out on the road as much as a wanted to. he thought maybe he lost touch with the american people. this is the president getting out there. 3pçhe is doing a town hall meetg in nevada today. with an election in november, everything gets political.
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so the president will be choosing where he goes for these official town hall meetings, speeches, public appearances. you can be sure he will be coupling that with political messages as well. host: the headline in "the denver post" says -- fight on their hands. how did this fight develop? guest: he is a first-year senator. he was named to the seat after bill ritter was named to the cabinet. he has a tough primary. he actually has a democratic challenger and there is squabbling and colorado about the fact that president obama is getting involved in the democratic primary. çhis opponent when itç the president to come out and support both candidates, but the white house and the starç said they are supporting michael bennett. he is for a top -- in for a tough race against the republican candidate. çcolorado, that was the state
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president obama was able to turn in 2008. he had the convention out there. the view is very different right now in colorado than august of 2008 when president obama gave the speech at the democratic convention. that is an interesting thing to look at the next couple of months, how president obama redrew the map in 2008 and how it is not taking shape this year in the general electric -- general election. those what -- who would have benefited from his coattails, not their right now. host: in nevada, senator harry reid, the majority leader is in a tough fight. what is going to go on in nevada today? guest: harry reid right now is any really tough reelection race. polls. it is not have a republican challenger yet, but in head to head poles with either he is behind. are very low. that is where president obama
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can perhaps be helpful, going out there and lending credibility to harry reid. there will be a town hall meeting today, there was a dnc fund-raiser last night to bring in cash. it seems like president obama could only help harry reid by doing it personal appearance. over the last few days talking to party officials and strategists, one thing that was coming out was the question of whether president obama should just stay home right now, should not be on the campaign trail. he only has approval ratings of around 50%. perhaps he does not bring the star power like used to. maybe he should just hunker down and focus on the legislative agenda. a host of the election of scott brown changed anything? guest: i think it did. and when you look at the surprise announcement from evan bayh, and really what he was talking about -- this was someone potentially on three different democratic tickets and he said i have to get out of washington, nothing is getting done. that is a very critical seat for
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democrats. you are looking at 9, 10 democratic seats that arkwright -- quite vulnerable right now. scott brown does come in and pull off a stunning victory, but now they are looking at places they had control of. host: the white house brought in david plouff will help out in the campaign. guest: of course there will be coordination with the dnc. what they are looking at is where the president can be most helpful over the next couple months and really fire up the grass roots activism. use all into doubt the seven and 2008, obama for america. that was a staple in his campaign. activists knocking on doors. they tried to translate that in 2009 into support for health care, the president's agenda,
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and that wasn't there. now have a chance again to bring that politics, get people knocking on doors. they want to try to fire up the base. that is whereç officials say president obama couldq make a difference, the architect of that helping. host: thank you for the update. we have about another half hour of phone calls. looking at health insurance, is the cost of health insurance become into unaffordable? this is unreal -- reaction to comments by health and human services secretary kathleen sibelius. here is a report in "the washington times." and associated press report. austin, texas, steve on the democrats' line. caller: i think it is obvious health care is too expensive. just look at the overall -- the percentage of gross domestic product, gpa, this country
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spends a lot higher percentage per person than other industrials -- industrialized advantage countries -- gross domestic product, gdp. obviously the right wing has been at spinning it terribly. the government is not evil, and mr. obama is a great inspiration, and intelligent refreshing breath of fresh air after the idiot bush who embarrassed the state of texas and embarrassed the nation. excuse me, i'm a vietnam veteran, and seeing cheney out there doing conservative talk show for the idiots up there, it is sickening, makes me stick -- sick to my stomach. host: newcastle, delaware. caller: pretty good.
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the problem is tort reform with the health-care industry. what happens is the way medicine is delivered right now is more defensive from lawsuits as opposed to actually practicing medicine nowadays. most of the expense when you what can it is basically taken up by testing, just in case he isç drawn into court. there are so many people out there trying to get supported by the doctor for life for this or that, and until we have some sort of tort reform we are not going to see a lowering of rates in the country host: -- rates in the country. host: let me show you what the insurers were saying about the rate increase -- the weak economy, the rise and a cost of medicare, makes it increasingly difficult.
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their reasoning is it is costing more so they are raising the rates. caller: what happens as medicaid and medicare does not pay top dollar, they cannot pay the amount actually covers the costs of the procedures and there are more and more necessary to avoid a towards a teresa -- the board -- çand avoid a tort situation 4%!e public sector doesç not py the true cost of delivery of care so you are forced to go to the pockets of people who actually pay for the service, those who pay cashç or actually pay for insurance. i]host: tort reform -- this case scenario, how much will that save the country? caller: if doctors are actually able to perform medicine and go
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what their gut on offering care as opposed to having to run a complete battery of tests and all that sort of stuff, you are probably going to save maybe 25% of the cost of medicine in this country, if not more. host:ç this is for myers and florida. dee on the independent line. caller: i need to say i have brain injury so i may not be able to express myself as quick as the other guys have been doing. several things i do want to point out. we are accustomed in this country to getting our medical care -- for example, when we go inside a hospital, well, we have all of these services available to us and everything is --çq we get sammy-privateçó rooms --t( i -private rooms, and little basin to wash our teeth with. there are a lot of costs that
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can be limited in the delivery of health care. we do not need all of these accessories, for example. we need to go back to decreasing the cost of hospital services. for example, i had an x-ray done of my elbow and that' cost $1,000. why? that machine has already been paid for. host: did you break it? caller: i have a tendency of falling because i have a brain injury. host: it cost you a thousand dollars to get the x-ray. caller: the point is, why is it so expensive? it is so expensive because the hospitals need to be able to get money to be able tot( offerç te other little services that they do when a person is
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hospitalized. there was a time when words were used -- wards were used, if perhaps we get some of that back, ok? i don't think we should be attacking doctors because when you put in a comparison of someone who works and automotive or a plumber, they can charge $100 for just coming to your health -- or your house. or the automotive services, the people who are building cars, their average salary is $75 an hour. so it is not so much the doctors, it is the whole entire industry. and i'm a very suspicious when the major health careq delivery system, insurance companies, are in favor of this democratic plan. host: letç usw3 see a comment,
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twitter.comç. basing our question again this morning on the comments from health and human services secretary kathleenç sebelius releasing a report on the cost of health insurance, particularly focusing on california. >> while we don't want to be companies to be insolvent because no plans would get paid and there is always a balance between making sure there is enough money in the door to pay claims and there is the ability on into the future to pay claims, insurance companies and health insurance market have made 250% profits over the last eight or nine years. the five biggest companies in 2009 alone, at a time where we saw a huge economic downturn
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with the gdp posted a-,çó we had insurance, these top five insurers, who had $12.2 billion in profit. to suggest this is entirely in line with even health care costs, which clearly are still exceeding typical of inflation costs, these profits are wildly excessive, way over anybody's estimate. there are also companies where the top executives are paid up to $24 million each, huge overhead costs, lots of advertising budgets. so i think the ability to say what percentage of what you are collecting it is actually spent on health payments, providers, hospitals, medicines, and what percentage is either profit for administrative overhead is
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something that a light should be shined on and that is really part of what this transparency would be about. host: back to your calls. robert, san jose, california. caller: yes, it is unaffordables what senate democrats need to do çis pass the senate bill throuh reconciliationçxd with a public option because they are never going to get the republicans because their plan is to just say no, that is their plan a strategy to win back power. host: jonathanç kohn writes -- cohn writes --
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sarasota, florida, republican collar -- caller. caller: i was upset when the senators said the health care reform bill should of been scrapped. it made me angry, because federal employees are under the office of personnel management which controls their federally insured medical program. at think it they knew -- like, for example, one of my father's prescriptions was $1,325. that was one month. his co pay was a lousy $5.25, my jaw dropped. i started looking at the medicare and started noticing
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all of the fraud. so i wrote, and said you're -- your senators made it a political football. in terms of what they have for coverage, it is outstanding. i don't see any reason why we can have basically the same medicaid and medicare coverage. i also think the president should hire an entire department to go back to the federal employees medicare program and take a look at nursing homes. my mother was billed for a private room and it was a lie, it was semi-private. i put a walkie-talkie under her bed. because they gave her a milkshake -- she was not licensed to give her medication, and called her honey and said it, drink this. she was supposed to standçóq% e and get premeditation -- make sure she drink the milk shake.
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then when we had a hurricane, and in 2004 and 2005, they kept saying we will move your mom out into the hallway. there was supposed to be kind of a hurricane-type facility. they did not move far from a sliding gas blowers. oxygen was off. i started looking at this and the billing and i nailed hospice southwest with three counts of medicare fraud. but the federal employees, the husband is the federal employee -- host: mary, thank you for the call. sarasota, home to spring training. the front page of "the baltimore sun." talking about the orioles. and "the boston globe" looking at their team, the red sox. and mary and sarasota talking about medicaid. it is front-page of "usa today."
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cape cod, massachusetády vincent on the independent line para -- independent line. caller: going along with the to much money for health care, too expensive. nothing wrong with the health care -- i am happy with my doctor and hospital. what i emptied off about is the pricesç charged for pharmaceuticals. they are ua2ueijsr'e. qhost:ç it previous callers sad she spent $1,300 a month on medication. does that sound reasonable? caller: it sounds reasonable. host:ç what are you spending a month? caller: that up and down because of the problem i have. i have seen zero pd -- copd and i have to spend four in nebulize there and some of the little puffers, the things that you squeeze.
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and those runç about $40 or $4a pop. çyou can run through them about once or twice in a month, at least that. host: the mexico on our democrats line. good morning, go ahead. caller: i think insurance is getting unaffordable. it all boils down to pure greed. when i go to the doctor -- i had open heart surgery. i have to go to the doctor at least twice a year. then i have other health problems -- diabetes. and after i take my diabetes medicine. if i did not have insurance at all, i could not afford these pills. and then they want to put me on a staten -- statin. they are expensive. i can hardly afford them.
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the medical profession in this country has gotten greedy, insurance companies, doctors, and all of them. they just want money. then we go to the doctor, you have another problem, they want to refer you to another doctor. if you make a suggestion about going to a different doctor they say, no, this one is better. to me -- i went to the doctor last month, and i was supposed to be seeing a cardiologists. the office prices were outrageous. then he charged me for something he did not do. host: what kind of insurance? caller: lacrosse/blue shield. host: health insurance, is it becoming unaffordable? here is a tweaked -- tweet -- the front page of "the los angeles times."
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that have a picture from austin, texas, and the plane crash. but the headline we are focusing on -- obama to take reins on health proposal. that story is also on line at newport richie, florida, republican caller. caller: wanted to weigh in on a couple of your callers.
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kathleen sibelius has to realize it is not just the administrative costs but the coating bottles they use. i'm mary to samba plumber. we have blue cross/blue shield in florida. his employer puts and a health savings amount, $600 a quarter, so we learned to shop for health care. çw3when i started shopping for health care, they use models based on medicare and medicaid computer models that rank certain treatments to certain costs. t(it but she is not telling yous if we open up the borders in the united states and let everybody compete, probably those models would have to be changed. next, the lady that was talking but because she had to endure and the other gentleman from
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florida was talking about how expensive it is here in florida -- look cross and blue shield of florida is one of the biggest carriers. they are not competing. when the cost comes down because of competition and the borders -- they will see a reduction in cost. there are not stepping out and saying, let us take this health care bill and let us offer everyone, i don't know, the southern states, to compete. you don't have competition in health care and that is why doctors are so frustrated, because they realize they have to charge this much because of this model. it is not the doctor's fault, it is just the way it is right now and it is obviously a fault of people who are in power. thank you. host: the headline on "of the guardian." -- "the guardian."
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and this is "the wall street journal." you will see him later on this network, 10:30 a.m. eastern. later on we will resume our coverageq from the conservative political action conference, 37 annual here in washington. it the headline of "the washington times" this morning, tea party activists changed dynamic. republicans pressed to earn the loyalty.
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maryland, jeffrey is on our democrats line. caller:ç i don'tç know what is going on,ok it looks -- i don't want to say conspiracy but it sure looks funny. you definitely need a public option and being able to go across state lines. i don't know who the blue dog democrat -- when they have the majority, they seem to be republicans in disguise. these tea party people, they report they learned so much from
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the race in massachusetts and all of this, but really they have a racist dominant air about them, like they are really, really rich. the last point i want to make is, i went to the doctor and i got a cat scan, two pictures, they charged the $1,800. i have health insurance. they charge me $1,800 for two pictures. host: how much did the health insurance co. picked up? caller: i had to pay co-pay, and 207 $6 and other things they threw in. this is ridiculous -- ok207 $6 d other think it through in. çthere is no way to tellç me 0 minutes, $1,800 for two pictures. ithere was no invasive
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procedures. host: he mentioned the public option. here is a story about senator t(schumer, the latest democrat o urge harry reid to embrace the public option. new york, steve on our independent line. caller: the thing with this insurance, the ones making all the money is the insurance companies. i have a bill in my hand for $860. they covered $398 ofç it, and they negotiate on the prices. it is the insurance companies making all the money. i have insurance and my wife has insurance, and i had to run around and get these things from my insurance company, and i'm running around doing the insurance company's work for them because they cannot send
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eob's. host: what does that mean? caller: estimate of billing. and they are both blue cross/blue shield. why am i doing the legwork? host: michigan, mathieu on the republican line. -- matthew. caller: of course health costs are skyrocketing. i spent years in the insurance industry, sales, in michigan, blue cross/blue shield, which is a nonprofit company, just recut3 -- requestj4cq= raise the rates 56%. so obviously the reason the premiums are so high it is because of the fact that health care is ridiculously expensive.
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that lady from florida was the most intelligent call you had all day. and even the man who called about $1,800 for a couple of x- rays. but yet he wanted to blame the insurance company -- that we needed a public option. anyone who looks at the health of medicare and medicaid, the unfunded mandate in those programs is out of control. a public option would just add more debt on to the backs of our kids and grandkids. i wish we could do a program just talking about the ridiculous cost of medical procedures and have the callers call in and explain what the procedure was, how long it took -- maybe an hour. çxdi had outpatient herniaç s. i was back home for supper the same night, and the cost -- i did not remember exactly, but $8,000. thisç was ridiculous.
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and these doctorsç schedule thm every single year. ifç you know anybody on medica, ask them, the doctor says you need to get it every year because they know they will pay it and the doctors run them like assembly lines and -15 and one day -- and they can dow3ç teamn one day. area strains to help the homeless. maryland's on our democrats line. çis health insurance becoming o unaffordable? caller:i] i am forç the single payer option. i think the big part of the
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problem is the american people are informed of -- are not informed enough. the president needs a commission to go to other countries and bring peopleç in the health-cae division of their country to come here in front of a work their program so that the american people can hear how well this works in other countries. -- dr. charges the same thing, they have a binder, the cost of each procedure is the same all the way around, the idea is not to make them -- not to make a profit, but the idea is to bring health care to people. çand these people in other countries, they are super happy with their insurance. çthat is why i say the people n the unitedç states -- all these other countries would not have a single payer plan.
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we are the only ones -- we are lagging behind because of money, agreed. now, i have a neighbor who isw3 70-some yearsi]çsá old and hada stroke last year on father's day and had to give up their house because he is nowi] --ok e signed the house over toq the federal government because he is i]nowq a g-20 call it? a nursing home. -- he isxd now, what you call i, in a nursing home. he is paralyzed. qthe woman next door had aç stroke and she can stay there until she passes. in other countries, health care is like, it is not something -- it is a moral thingw3 where everyone should get it. to think someone not getting
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health care and other countries that has single payer planç is not tolerable. host: thanks for weighing in. 4 it up front page of "the washington post." also a look at "the wall street journal" this morning. questions about the federal reserve raising one of its key interest rates. next, monroe, north carolina, carl on our independent line. make sure you muteq you tell -- your television. caller: here is my major complaint. i am retired army and i went to a local hospital here in north carolina. i was in the hospital waiting room approximately an hour and
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an hour and a half and when i finally got into the room when i was going to be looked at and everything, they sent me to have an and r i done -- i was fully awake the whole, complete time -- sent me to have an mriç don it did nott( take three minutes they sent me back to the room and they went up to look and iv of to me and a lady said i will be back shortly, she came back and gave it to someone else and cubicle to me, made the complaint -- look, you just took this iv from a man of the next cubicle any given to me and you are shoveling to somebody else. my thing with this situation in the hospital, we go to the hospital and they say, ok, let me see your credentials. i showed them my tricare for life, and then my medicare card and stuff.
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i thought this was all taken care repaired -- taken care of. then the hospital sent a copy of the bill and i immediately contacted by senator's office and said, look, here is the situation, i got charged $4,007 for a three-minute mri, i was charged an iv i never got, that charge for sitting in a wheelchair that had blood in a wheelchair. what kind of services are we getting out here? host: thank you for the last word on health insurance. more of them coming up. we will meet mark schmitt from "the american prospect." executive editor, will talk about the first year of the obama administration and other political stories as well. all of that coming up next and your calls, too, here on "washington journal." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> this weekend on c-span, first lady michelle obama on preventing childhood obesity, and secretary arnie duncan on education policy. part of our coverage of this year's winter meeting of the national governors' association, live, throughout the weekend on c-span. >> sometimes i think history is a series of accidents. it is like a pile up of cars in a snowstorm. >> how did the u.s. and up in vietnam? sunday, pulitzer prize-winning author ted morgan on "the valley of death" and the battle that ended french colonial rule in indochina. sunday night on c-span.
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>> with your wildest imagination if you were writing fiction you could not have made this up. >> the death of american virtue -- clinton versus starr, he is interviewed by former special counsel to president clinton. çó>> "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined by mark schmitt of "the american prospect," executive editor. you have an article in the january/february publication that talks about the machinery in progress and looking at the president, focusing solely on the president. more broadly -- after a year of a new president and congress, how things look to you? guest: i think it is not quite what a little -- some of us a little more liberal or progressive expected. one of the points i made in that article is there is a tendency
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to put it all on obama. we come to this great drama of the individual. of course, he is a fascinating individual. but i think it is important to look at all of the institutions that go into making any kind of change possible, which is congress, obviously things that happen and some of the congressional committees, and also whether we have been able to organize citizens well enough to really demand the kind of change. host: do you think things work out the way progressive had hoped a year ago? guest: not at all. but at the same time deacon say that is one big thing, health reform. i think health reform is essential giving people economic opportunity in this country. i listened to the last half hour of your callers, obviously a central issue. if you have not achieved that, you have not achieved what has been the central aim of progressives since truman at
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least in that sense it has not worked out at all. and there are issues like financial regulation and things like that. host: what the think of the voices, conservative political action conference, those who say it is not going right for other reasons? guest: that argument is they are pushing things through too fast. we did not elect a conservative president. i think we elected a president who wanted to transform the political process fundamental -- in fundamental ways. i did not think we necessarily elected ai] wall liberal president, either. i think his failure at really transforming the political process as well as the failure on health care, kind of two things that have fallen short. i think republicans and conservatives are largely responsible for that failure of transforming the political process. host: mark schmitt is with us until 8:30 a.m. eastern.
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in your article and you write about progresses and using them as he did in the campaign. you write just as in the campaign, built on organizing, on-line activists and civic engagement -- it appears politically the president is more to the center and allç of his moves. what are you calling for here? i]çguest: building up a set of organizations, whether think tanks and so forth, that don't belong to barack obama. the organization that was called obama for america, turned into
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organizing for america, but fundamentally belongs to the democratic national committee in the white house. i would like to see more things like our magazine, the center for american progress, organizing groups like democracy for america, that are developing ideas. a lot of what happened with health care is a lot of work went into developing basic outlines of that program, that is essentially what was put in place. we need more things like that. for example, figuring out how we should in financial regulation. there are not a lot of people really thinking about that. there really is not an agenda so if you. --i] are a citizen and say i wat to do something about this, somebody can say here of the five things you should call your congressman about. that sort of thing. and it has to be independent of obama. host: on health care, what is
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your hope for this televised contact next week with the blair house? guest: i think it could get two things back on track. this is my pie in the sky hope, right? one is to adis would get health reform on track. one of the most essential thing you can do. and obama's effort to change the process back on track. to me what obama wanted to do is really say, when you get everyone around the table and you get them talking about a problem, things change. that is his experience as a community organizer and what should happen. at the republicans have been saying, we know that is true and that is why we don't really wanted roundtable because we are worried about that happening. host: we have callers waiting for you. louisiana what are democrats line. good morning. -- louisiana, on our democrats line. caller: if john mccain would have won the president -- what
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difference -- what would been different than what the president has already done? the tax cuts the president a small businesses, the tax cut on payroll taxes, when you look at the money he pushed out through the recovery act that people need to really realize the difference between tarp and recovery act. the recovery act was to really keep the economy from going over the cliff. the thing is, what i am looking at, if the democrats in the office and the senate and congress does not get out there and support the president's agenda, everything he tries not going to work because the president will not support anything he is doing. i watched some of the cpac, a digital color a klan rally -- host: said it was a klanç rall? i]caller: did you see one black
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person(aod audit? -- in the audience present not like i'm trying to make it racist thing. the audience? guest: an interesting question, what would be different if john mccain was president? i think it is unlikely we would have done the economic stimulus anything close to the level we did, and the consequences of not doing that probably would have been enormous in terms of the economy. take it from there. host: you wrote about this in december in changing the tone. there is an aggrieved minority in the country, maybe 15% to 18% of the population, that will not go away --
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guest: that is -- i had a number of conversations with people about that. rep. i want to make sure what i wrote is understood. it is not some about racism, but the set of people who have taken for granted the leverage they have in american politics. the white south has had a huge amount of control if you go back to the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's -- when it was democrat, and all the committee chairs were white southerners. the only democratic president between kennedy and obamaç were seveners. there is a leverage the white south has had that i think they feel like has lifted away, has gone away for the first time. host: has any group -- new group emerged that has the leverage? guest: i don't think it is quite the same. i don't think it is the make or break leverage. i don't think the obama coalition is still coming
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together. maybe the new democratic coalition, kind of rearranging of the map that the reporter who was on earlier was talking about. that is still kind of coming together. we don't know what is going to remain as part of the coalition --ççi] 2010, 2012, for going forward. what i always tried to do in this column is try to take as long a view as possible. mother bird be hayes -- host: he does not it -- he does not give mention that often. cleveland, ohio. david. çcaller: i keep hearing about these jobs, jobs, jobs programs and the differences between the democrat and republican party. the problem is the only a two types of jobs -- you have the
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public sector and the private sector, which my family is diversified, we are half and half. with my wife in civil service, she could retire after 25 years, and believe me, she will. and my father was in civil service, he worked 26 years and he got a buyout, 31-year pension. that is -- you cannot hire all of these young people. we have healthy young people but you cannot get them into the private sector because they don't offer a good retirement. there was a proposal from dennis kucinich when he wanted to lower the social security age from 62 down to 60, because most of the people i work with in manufacturing, they can't wait -- if i had an opportunity to,
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you could hire millions of these young people to do the jobs. but the way it stands, you can't do it. host: thanks for the input. okguest: i think there are two dimensions of things that changed in the labor market that lead to huge economic insecurity. one is health care and increasing number of employers providing either no health care or inadequate health care, and the other is pensions. it it is one of -- it is one of the topics you cannot hear much about. a world of difference between someone going in manufacturing job 30 or 40 years ago with a defined benefit -- benefit pension when they know what they willw3 get when they retire, as ççopposed to now with a mix of çthey are always at risk. host: he talkedç about a specic idea from dennis kucinich. is it likely to gain any traction? guest: that would require a pretty significant restructuring
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of social security in order to bring the eligibility age down. i just saw the numbers, the number of people who because of a lack of pension are already taking social security or early when they can take it at 62 ratigan 65, which is a significant -- you get a lot less money per month when you take it early. i think that is a real sign of the economic pressures and absence of pension that people are not able to hold out until 65. host: naples, florida, elisabeth -- i punched the wrong line. .
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if he starts focusing on health care bill, he should also put it over state lines. if he had a deal with insurance companies -- and in florida, there are only three insurance companies. they are just going to get more wealthy, and the cost will not be contained. guest: a couple of interesting
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points. i will pick up on one, and i think this will be part of the republican response to health care, selling policies across state lines. clearly, that is the alternative out there. i think it is pretty clear that if we did that, some states provide a lot of protection for people, some provide very little. those who provide the very little can start providing in other states. whatever state has the least regulation potentially dominates the market. it is like your credit card coming from south dakota, because that is a state that has no limits on interest rates, so they can charge whatever they want. if you like that system, fine.
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it sounds appealing, but it has huge implications. host: your most recent column looks at the citizens united case and the supreme court decision. you write -- so you are not as concerned as the court decision? guest: i am not quite as alarmist as some.
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i think a lot of imports has been attached to it. the controversy within the court -- the decision itself went quite far, but the immediate consequences will not be as significant as some have said because there is so much room for corporations to influence the election, and they do. health care when the different right now if we did not have this influence. the way we have approached campaign finance reform, by trying to limit this, closing that loophole, the court is not interested in that approach. it is time to get to public financing so that small donors can become a part of the system. host: what is your take in general? guest: there was a real reminder
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from justice roberts, in his confirmation, that they are just a on buyers, they have nothing to do with the designing of -- umpires, they have nothing to do with the designing of rules, but this opinion showed us what kind of outcome they wanted to reach. they had to stretch way beyond the limits atof the case at hand. whether or not they are looking at the original intentions of the constitution, i think that is a little bit blown out of the water. host: sandy from california. caller: good morning. i am wondering what you think
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the congress, what part the congress plays in the overall perception of americans, with how our government functions. most people had a difficult time focusing on the minutia, the sausage-making that takes place in congress. i am looking at a majority democrat congress that seems only unable to get its act together. as a progressive, this has been frustrating to watch. as a progressive, what do we need to be doing to push our congress, to push the people we
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elected to tackle all of these huge issues that the country faces in the direction that is most beneficial to the most citizens? let me give you an example. it is common wisdom that the public option is favored overwhelmingly, republicans, democrats, independents. americans are not stupid. we understand we are being ripped off by intracompany and most people would like to have the ability to govern their insurance company. most people, if you ask them, they understand there should not be any profit margin in taking care of people's health. it should be about providing
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care so that people can live healthy lives, but we have the congress -- the blue dog democrats -- who have decided they are going to be republicans. they are going to block any progress. host: thank you. we are going to hear from mark schmitt. guest: and that perception of congress is a huge amount. i worked on capitol hill for years. i worked for senator bill bradley of new jersey. there was a time not long ago when there was more bipartisan cooperation. there was more crossover in ideology between parties. we are in a different situation now. it is interesting to look back on that era.
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back then, there were even more democrats that were very conservative. some have become republicans now. the real problem is with the senate. the house does its work, it is tough, but they produce bills that are basically solid. when you get to the senate, we are in a situation where you are just on the margin to avoid a filibuster. so republicans say we are giving nothing. so the effect of that is your take the democrat that is on the farthest bench from center, he may be conservative like joe lieberman, or he could be like a hack -- i will not name names.
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when they become almost the co- president. i would love to help you, but i need this provision. they have this life and death power as a result of that 60th vote. now is really the time to start talking about changing the filibuster rule, not so much baso that any party can do something, but even with a huge majority, it can be tough getting that 60th vote. host: a tweet from one of our viewers -- the president could not get
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legislation passed about this and that proposal. the president announced this bipartisan panel yesterday. what is your take on this effort? guest: as we look into the long term, it is not about this year, next year, or even a year after that, the deficit. i think when you really dig into it, the problem is health care costs that we have to get under control. and we do not have adequate revenue coming into the government. a large number of republicans who have been urging this panel had voted against a legislative version because of the chance
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that maybe they would talk about revenues, taxes. that cannot even be on the table when you put those issues on the table, it will be difficult to get to the resolution of that long-term fiscal issue. but we have to begin to start thinking about those plans. not because it will stop the recovery, but it is about getting the long-term fiscal plan in place. simpson and bowles are good people. host: did you think the stimulus was big enough when they passed it? guest: i am not an economist. i know some that say that if it had been bigger bite a few hundred million, unemployment could be a few percentage points lower now.
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i think it should have been bigger at that time. obviously, we are going back in for a jobs package. we are still at the point where every bit of money we can get into the economy is going to help us. the alternate path where we did not have a stimulus -- in what have been disastrous. host: david in attleboro, massachusetts . caller: one of your callers talked about the sea-tac -- cpac. if people want to complain about minority issues, maybe they should ask president obama
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for another handout. my wife and daughter are members of the tea party. we see everything that the americans are passed off about. nobody is buying it anymore. people are truly pissed off. people who are making this a racial issue, there is no more segregation in this country anymore. you work and you get what you deserve. if they are not careful, we are going to send a message in november. guest: i think there is a lot of tendency within the tea party, cpac movement that as they are gaining energy and enthusiasm, it = help everyone in the country feels. -- equals how everyone in the
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country feels. i think we need to make sure that people are hearing each other at the same time, and not just hearing their own voice. host: you talk about anger on both sides. are there, and areas of grievances between folks on the left -- common areas of grievances between folks on the left and right? guest: if somebody believes we have not done anything about health care, and someone else believes that their taxes may go up, they are sort of similar situations. you hear this all the time from your callers. there is a lot of frustration. people do not necessarily block it off past, this is my
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frustration about health care, this is my frustration about taxes. it is general. the tea party is finding a way to express that anger. i do not think people necessarily fall into the ideological box by giving this, so i think there is some crossover in people doing this. all lot of lines of conversation should be opened -- a lot of lines of conversation should be opened up about all of these different venues. host: death from west virginia. -- jeff from west virginia. caller: concerning a medical
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plan, i am amazed when people watch shows like "60 minutes" -- when they bring up the fact that hospitals are turning the elderly more money to make up for the government paying them, because they are losing money with the care that they get. everybody else pays for it. the other question i had -- president obama, i have to give him credit, he is trying. i am a republican. he ran on the one thing that everyone swore up and down that was going to ruin the country. companies would go south and leave the united states. everyone said that canada would drop our prices. i cannot remember all of it.
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i think he needs to address getting jobs back in this country. this is a personal note. i am tired of people listening to the special interest groups. any time congress wants to get something done, they talk about the race card -- this is 2010. this country is ready for a black president, ready for a woman president. that is all i have to say. guest: i think the first couple of questions go together. health care is a good reminder we are already paying a huge amount for people who do not have health insurance, in the form of uncompensated care.
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we just need a way to structure that better to get people in the system. that involves the best economic program you can have. allows people to be an open doors, lists -- on troubadours -- entrepreneurs,. we need job creation. host: you write -- is this addressing some of what we have talked about, concern and anger? when you say there is still hope, what do you mean by that? guest: this article came out
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just after the state of the union. i had written in just a few hours. the point i was trying to make -- that term "california- child" was a reference to one of his previous speeches. democrats and progressive -- our impression with them was that they needed to do something big. when senator bradley, who i work for, ran for president, the concept of the campaign was that we needed bigger ideas. i think obama came out of the box with that. health care, cap and trade,
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reorienting foreign policy, and it has gotten pulled back a little bit. so now we have to find the smaller pieces, that over the past eight years, do add up to getting the country back. but it is no longer that grand gesture. i do not think that response to that anger, but to the way that the government works. host: columbus, mississippi. bonnie. caller: my first comment is about the congress. they do not need any republicans. they have enough democrats to pass anything. mr. obama ran on transparency, hope, and change. the stimulus package should have gone to jobs, first off.
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the money that is coming back in, what are they doing with that? only one-third of the money has been spent and people still do not have jobs. health care, he turned that over to congress. he did not participating. i am glad to hear the gentleman say he is progressive, but i am not. i am a constitutional democrat. our constitution has been torn apart, piece by piece. i am from mississippi, and there are lot of blacks here, even progressive democrats, who do not like what is going on with the president. he is not doing what he
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promised in the campaign. host: did you vote for him? guest: yes, but i will not attend -- caller: yes, but i will not again. he is not honest. host: what are you hearing in those comments? guest: a lot of people expected a lot of different things from the president. they are feeling disappointed, i think, in different ways. an interesting point she makes is obama turning too much over to the congress. i think there were a lot of lessons that people thought they learn from the health care experience in 1993 with the clinton administration. one of them must do not give congress a detailed plan, but the market fell -- let them work
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it helpeout. host: a tweet -- phoenix. linda on the independent line. caller: good morning. i have a comment, suggestion, and question. my definition of insurance is a pool of people, most of them healthy, paying for those who are not, until they are not held in themselves. we need to get it away from employers. we need the public option. it should go to a vote. all 50 states should start taking signatures.
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the congress is not doing anything. what do you think? guest: we do not have a process for a national referendum. more importantly, it is the real call for public pressure, for the public to keep the pressure on congress to get this done. i think the result could be something similar to what she discussed where we have a larger pool, and people who need care are held by those who do not. host: san diego. annette. caller: i have been listening and trying to follow along. i am sorry, but the democrats are spending too much money.
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i thought your guest was a democrat because he seems to be so pro-spending. you cannot have programs that you cannot pay for. also, i get irritated when they referred to medicare and social security as an entitlement, when we have paid into that, but welfare programs are not paid for. they want to fund all these things that are not paid for. it is impossible. i never hear officials talk about the increasing their salaries. don't you think the federal government should take a decrease in salaries? that is probably unconstitutional, but they are stepping on our rights by trying to force this medical program down our throats. one woman said that everyone wants the public option. who were those thousands of
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people on the steps with their signs? host: how are you getting health insurance? caller: i am getting medicare, but i have to pay extra for it. and i am paying all on my own. i'd take advantage of what is there. we paid into it. guest: in is an interesting reaction -- who were those thousands of people on the capital opposed to the public option? for a long time, the public option did a very well among the public. of course, on spending, our biggest fiscal problem -- the biggest spending problem, what
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we cannot pay for -- happens to be medicare in the long run. it is not all taken care of. it is mostly because of health care increases. host: lexington, ky. democrat line. caller: good morning. and i am going to say something facetious. the chickens have come home to roost, haven't they? to those who have called in, i want to remind them that there are three branches of government, the legislative, the law, and the executive. when president obama was getting
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paid, he said he wanted to change how washington does business. it will not be easy, but that is what he wants to change. financing of campaigns has destroyed the process of congress. they are not focusing on the problems of the people. they are focusing on who is given to money. host: thank you. we will let mark schmitt respond. guest: there are a lot of problems in the political process, but that campaign financing is a big part. there is a piece of legislation that has quite of lot of support. the day after he was elected,
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scott brown of massachusetts, they asked him what kind of republican are you? he said he was a scott brown- kind of republican. he supported clean energy bills. there are many states that have systems like this, encouraging small donors to become candidates. it is a change in how politics will work. it is not the only thing that will change what is wrong with government, but very important. host: mark schmitt of the american prospect. thank you for being with us. in our next segment, we will look at a new inspector general report on the census. it is reported that the census bureau has wasted millions of dollars in preparing for the census count. todd zinser will be with us.
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first, a news update. >> president obama begins the day in nevada, holding a meeting at a high-school in henderson. later, the president speaks to the las vegas chamber of commerce. a senior white house official says democratic negotiators are working out differences in house and senate bills that passed last year. they plan to post them online next week. however, according to politico, a senior democratic aide said that the bill was constructed without any republican in but and should not be viewed as a reconciliation of the two bills. jon huntsman was called to a meeting with the chinese foreign minister to launch a solemn --
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china said it interfered with internal politics and hurts the feelings of the chinese people. more on next week's congressional hearing of the safety of toga vehicles. the company's president says he is hoping for understanding when he testifies and is promising to speak with all sincerity, adding that he will cooperate with regulators andñr work to restore consumer fe hurt by millions of recalls -- faith hurt by millions of recalls worldwide. >> coming up, the national endowment hosts the dalai lama. that will be this morning starting at 1030 eastern. -- 10:30 eastern. president obama told a meeting in las vegas today. and our coverage of the conservative political action conference newt gingrich.
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that will be tomorrow at 2:00 eastern. more from sea-tac -cpac tomorrow -- cpac tomorrow evening with fox news host glenn beck. >> this weekend, michelle obama on preventing childhood obesity. arne duncan on health care policy. host: ton zinser is the inspector general with the commerce department, here to talk about the census. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. here to talk about the sentence, but in particular, your --
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census, but in particular, your quarterly reports, what did it find? guest: our quarterly report is based on a requirement that the appropriations committee placed on us to measure the progress of the sentence on a quarterly basis. -- census on a quarterly basis. we look at five things in the report. one is the status of the paper- based operation control system. that is the system they will use to manage in the enumerators then go out to do non-response follow up. that was the software that you receive it -- just referred to. the second thing we look at is some of the cost schedules that census has. we look at a load test that the census bureau is conducting on how well all of their i.t.
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systems will work. we looked at a revised cost estimates that the census director commission for a non- response follow up operation. so the report follows all of those issues. host: there was some concern about the portable electronics, the infrastructure that enumerators use when they collect this data. is that still a concern from your department? guest: the hand-held computer was originally intended to do two things. 14 address canvassing, where they identified the addresses of all the homes in the country. it was used for that, and it worked pretty well. the other function that it was intended to reform was the non- response follow-up. there were some scheduling problems when the decision was made in the spring of 2008 to
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revert back to a paper-based non response follow. some of the problems we have on the paper-based system is the need to develop that system after the decision was made to drop the computer response. host: there was an article in the "washington post" about census forms, focusing particularly on the hispanic community, urging the residents to participate. this was in montgomery county.
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what can you tell us about this area of concern? does the report address this area? guest: we do not go into confidentiality, but i have been at the commerce department two years now. census data is covered by title 13. census data is treated almost as classified information involving national security. there are criminal penalties for disclosing census data to parties who are not authorized, including law enforcement. they do not get access to centers data. -- census data. host: your biggest area of concern so far? guest: the uncertainty on how
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efficient the non-response follow-up program will be run. also, the response rate. if the american public wants to contain cost on the census, the best thing they can do is, when they get their census form in the mail, fill that out and mail it back promptly. if they do that, we can reduce the estimated cost by significant margins. host: new orleans. william on the republican line. we are going to go through richmond. derrick. caller: good morning. my question is, how do you take into account undocumented
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workers, people who do not want to be identified? i also have a quick comment. the reason america is in the position it is in is because we need to stop being intolerant of our personal beliefs. intolerance is the enemy of good. if i cannot get 100% of what i want, i would take 50% to allow the country to move forward. we need to stop imposing our own personal beliefs on everyone else, and we have to sometimes take half in order to move forward to become what we should be. that is it. guest: thank you. the issue of how we account for
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people who are hernot here legally, the constitution does not distinguish between inhabitants who are legal and not. the census bureau does not make that distinction either. the census form had 10 questions. they estimate it will only take 10 minutes to fill out. it does ask for names of individuals residing at the house, and the purpose of that is to make sure people are not double counted, and so the people who fill out the forms can to who they are counting. again, the information is confidential, and there is no distinction between legal and illegal residents. host: has there ever been an
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effort to change that, by statute, to count only legal residencts? guest: there was a movement recently by a member of the appropriations committee to head the census bureau mask on the form -- ask on the form whether the responder was here legally or illegally. that was not enacted by the congress. host: on the spending, your report indicates that so far spending is under budget. spending for october, a 11% under budget. 1% in november. are you happy about those results, what is driving that? guest: of course, we are happy
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that it is under budget right now. gao has done some work on this as well. the budgeting process that the census bureau uses, we do not have a lot of confidence in it. host: speaking of the inspector general? guest: yes, and our report highlight that. some of the analysis we did on the overruns, it was near 25% sun, which is significant. -- 25%, which is significant. we looked at what happened, and a lot of the difficult was from estimating. we are happy that it is under budget right now, but we need to keep in mind the uncertainties of the cost. host: next phone call from
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florida. michelle. caller: i would like to know the total cost of what this will be. my second question is, with our government in such a disaster right now, we are not in the collection mode. we are in extreme danger economy mode. couldn't the census just be canceled right now? you know how many people are in america from the social security information. it makes no sense. the government needs to start cutting back right now. that would be a good place. second, why do we need summer school? we could save millions, maybe billions, by doing away with summer school. host: we are going to leave it there. thank you.
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guest: right now the estimated cost of the census is about $14.7 billion. that is the total life cycle costs. those costs have been incurred over the past 10 years. this fiscal year, fy 2010, the congress disseminated about $10 billion to the census. last year it was around $3 billion. to most of the money has been appropriated -- so most of the money has been appropriated. since the constitution requires a decennial count, i do not think there will be the chance to have this canceled. host: what is the primary purpose of the census? guest: to count the number of people residing in the country, but also to identify where they are resigning. the reason -- residing.
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the reason that is important is because it determines how many representatives in congress each state will be allotted. that is called apportionment. it is important not to find out not only how many people we have, but also where they are located. host: next phone call. caller: i have a question and comment period on a lot of the commercials you are putting on about the senses -- question and a comment. a lot of the commercials you are putting on about the census, i am not going to participate. you talk about money that we do not have. if you are not counted, we cannot fund schools, we cannot do this, we cannot do that.
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when you no crime is being committed -- whether it is constitutionally-accepted or not -- when you cross the border into america illegally, that is a crime. if you do not report that crime, it is aiding and abetting, so my own government is going to be interested in aiding and abetting, and they expect the american people to deal with it? thank you. guest: the other purpose of the senses that the caller alluded to it is the allocation of federal funding. those programs will continue regardless of the deficit. it is true there is a substantial cost growth in deficits right now, but census data it is used to determine how that funding is allocated across the state. in terms of illegals in the
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country, the census does not know, it does not ask that question. again, the census bureau is there to determine the number of residents, where they are located, not whether they are here legally or not. host: one of those commercials made its debut in the super bowl. i think we have a clip of one of them. >> the main thing we have to remember is we are not anyone -- letting anyone know the locations. >> so just the 300 million people will know the location? then the snapshot of america. >> isn't that what the sentence is doing? >> but we have to know when that
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is going to happen. we have to get them there. >> absolutely. host: what is your response? guest: i have seen in the print media that the ads have not been well-received. the congress wanted the census bureau to use paid advertising because the intent is, if you advertise, more people will respond and be aware and participate. one no. i would like to provide a is -- for everyone% increase in households that return their sentence form, we will save about $90. this time around, they are estimating a 65% return rate. if we can increase that 10%, we can save $900 million.
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i hope that they are successful. there are different measures that we are using this time around to see if ads have been helpful. we will just have to see at the end of the campaign. host: can you give us a total cost on the advertising, marketing campaign? guest: it is called the integrated communications campaign. it is up in the $300 million range. page media, about $100 million. host: next phone call from georgia. caller: i watched the people taking the census standing outside and counting people. they cannot even visiting homes. -- were not even visiting homes. they say that we are going to
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get this in the mail. i have not received anything yet. guest: thank you for that. that is important question. census forms will not be mailed out until the second or third week of march. before that, you will get a postcard to remind you it is coming. if you do not fill it out promptly and mail that that, you are likely to get a replacement form. at some point after that, census enumerators will come out and try to reach you can take the information in person. host: have changes in the housing market and people moving affected the way that the commerce department approaches the senses this year? guest: absolutely. they have a number of operations in order to carry out the census.
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theythey have a plan to determie whether or not a home is vacant and whether or not the address need to be deleted from their address list. they also have special operations for transitory, homeless. they have special operations for people who visit soup kitchens, and other community housing. host: tuskegee, alabama. go ahead. caller: good morning. instead of calling in advertising and marketing, i think you might get a better response if you could educate more about what the sentence is used for. maybe instead of using the word "snapshot" maybe you could say
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trendy. when they ask about in, and number of rooms in the household -- some people are offended about what you want to know how many rooms, how much in, i make -- in come -- income i make. i think if you talk more about trending and how it relates to the education -- again, people need to be educated. people have been doing this every 10 years. it used to be done with a survey. when we were growing up in the 1950's, that is how it was.
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host: adding to that, there is a atwtweet -- tie that into the marketing and census itself. guest: on the question of the marketing, one of the forms that the census bureau undertook in 2010 was to change the process for serving, questions about income, number of rooms, that used to be in along her questionnaire. that will not be here this time. there will only be 10 questions. it will only take 10 minutes, according to them. the types of question that you talked about it was among the american community survey, which is an ongoing survey based on a
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sample of americans taken. those questions are done through the american community survey. in terms of questions about ethnicity and race, the census form that you will be getting does include questions about race and ethnicity, primarily because there are statutes that require that. there is in the voting rights of 1966, i believe, where redistricting require state legislatures to know the race and ethnicity of their population. that is what they ask questions like that. host: massachusetts. john on the democrat line. caller: i wondered when the republicans were complaining about the sentence, that they did not want the democrats to do it -- census, that they did not
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want the democrats to do it, is it not true that they did not know how many people were in their district to vote? republicans complained about the sentence because they do not want people to know how many people are really here in the districts. those are votes that the democrats cannot get. i have not heard more about the discussion in the census -- about the sentence between the democrats and republicans. -- census between the democrats and republicans. guest: we are appointed, without political party, we are nonpartisan. at this point, the types of reviews that i do, and while i understand the politics around the city, the work at my office does is not geared to a
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republican or democrat, but really on how efficient the operation is, and how we can make it more effective. host: steve on the republican line. caller: how does the census handle the inmate population? i imagine most of them are housed outside of their place of residence. guest: that is a good question. the short answer is, the prison populations are enumerated in an operation called the group quarters. they are enumerated in the locality where the prison is located. for the purposes of the decennial census, prisoners will be counted as residents of the location of the prison. there was a change recently announced by the census bureau.
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i have not spoken to the director personally about this, but i have read about it, but what i believe they are determined -- considering doing is providing information about the prison population earlier to the states than they have in past years to that states can do their own enumerations to determine home localities of inmates, and determine how to best use that data for redistricting. host: is that position a politically-appointed position? guest: yes, by the president and senate. host: next phone call. caller: thank you. i appreciate c-span. unless my math is wrong, the population of the country is about $300 million. that is about $50 per person to
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count them. don't you think the post office could have done just as good a job? maybe just make them work some overtime. they know where the male goes. it just seems -- mail goes. it just seems like -- $14 billion was the no. i heard -- it seems like a weird program. i know that we have to count but i feel like the post office could have done it more efficiently. guest: the prospect of the post office conducting the sentence is interesting. -- census is interesting. other people have suggested the military do it. you're putting your finger on the big cost, personnel costs.
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they are going to hire about 1 million people to carry this out. that is the main driver. they need to look at ways to cut costs for the 2010 census. your suggestion should be in the mix for 2020. his account was actually a little low. i think it is about 60. host: the quarterly report on the census, we have linked not on our website. part of that is looking at status of contingency plans. there are some areas of concern here, risks, status 2009. let me read some of this --
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when the risks that this is high, what does that mean? guest: we believe this is in excess of the program, looking at risk management, which is much more rigorous than they did in 2000. we have commended them for looking at risk areas. they have a committee that assesses risk on a regular basis. i think they meet monthly. they identify risks, and for the high risks, they determine how to mitigate those risks. .
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caller: one day i had a person at my front door and i opened the door and i asked if i could help them. this lady was there with the census. she was collecting my court minutes. , -- michael ordinates. -- michael ordinates. -- my coordinates.
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suppose you like and are found out, are there any consequences? guest: the answer to the first part of your question is the operation you experienced was address canvassing where they are cold listers and they make sure -- they are called listers and they make sure of where your address is. there are some parts of the country that are very difficult to pinpoint locations. the hand-held device that you saw that she had which had a gps function can pinpoint it. g@"the census not only has to ct the number of people but where those people are located in terms of la. on the census form, there are -- in terms of lying on the census form, there are penalties but
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there is very little history of people actually falsified the forms that i am aware of. host: from new york, good morning. let me put you on hold and turn down your television or radio. jacksonville, fla., our independent line. caller: good morning. i used to work for the post office. the addresses that the census bureau uses are from the postal service because january, february of last year, all of the addresses are tabulated by the delivery routes. that is where all the mailing is going to which the post office is doing already. my first question is -- has the senses been moved back to the commerce department or is the president still in charge or the white house, i should say.
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? on the role of the post of this -- the census bureau does work with the post office in terms of constructing its address list. . it does not use the post office addresses explosively. they go out to their own address canvassing. we think the use of post office addresses but other administrative records such as where your social security check is mailed, etc, should be used by the census bureau and we think there are cost savings that can be done there. those are administrative records and we are in favor of the census bureau increasing its use of administrative records to contrast -- to construct an address list for the census bureau has always, not always, but been in the department of commerce and moved to the white house.
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there was concern about that when they were talking about nominees for the position of the secretary of commerce. the census bureau never moved. there is some talk of making it an independent agency but right now it is in the commerce department. host: we have the inspector general of the census department prit. back to new york on the line. go ahead caller: i don't know if i am slow but getting wrong information but i hear that the census committee or whatever it is called was given $352 million to do its job. that is more than the people in the country. what about a corner? aren't they still involved somehow? guest: i am not sure of the
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first part of your question. the census bureau which has supported a lot of money to carry out the census. in fy 20109gy i think they appropriated more than $7 billion. the $352 million, i am not commit -- familiar with that figure. the second part of your question is escaping me. the census bureau goes out and they recruit what they call partner organizations that help them get the word out in the communities and answer questions from people in the community about the census. at one point, acorn was a partner of the census for that purpose. partners do not receive federal funding from the census bureau. because of the controversy surrounding acorn several months ago or last year, the census
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bureau disassociated itself from a corn. i don't think they are listed as a partner in the sense anymore. host: port charlotte, fla., independent, go ahead caller: you mentioned that there are 10 questions. i believe the constitution only requires the number of persons per household. you mentioned the confidentiality of the census. i believe the census was used during world war two to round up japanese and put them in internment camps. guest: i am not familiar with whether the census was used for that purpose during world war two. host: we have a tweed that asks how does the senses and all the illegal mexican population whose
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children are legal? guest: the census comes to households. the head of the household or anybody over 15 can answer the census form. that primary responder is asked to list all the residents in the household. there is room on the form to list every individual living in the household. host: when you come out with the quarterly report and you can get it online through our website,, the reaction to that, millions wasted on the senses, do you think the media got that right? guest: i think the media got that right. what was missing from the media report was the context that our report puts that inefficiency or waste in.
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that was some of the elements of the cost overrun for canvassing. our point was, the non-response follow up operation was going to be four or five times larger than the canvassing operation. whatever ways or inefficiency the census bureau experienced in address canvassing, if they do not get internal controls in place or do better cost containment, the waste will be fortified. host: you expressed earlier your concern over the cost of the 2020 census rising again. are there recommendations how to win in costs over the next 10 years? guest: yes, work on the 2020 census has already started. we have been making recommendations for years on those issues for more efficiency including using the internet. c÷we have made recommendationsr the past several years that the census bureau should be using
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the internet. they do have a pilot program. we have not really looked at it yet on using the internet for the senses. the other thing i mentioned was the address list that the census bureau constructs. we think that should be done throughout the decade instead of having a $400 million operation towards the end of the decade host: we talked about housing. many folks do not have a home fault. they have eight cell phone per it does this affect your data collection? guest: know, the only way that would affect the enumeration is that if somebody does not return their form and in numerator tries to contact the household and is unable to, sometimes they will try to reach the household by telephone and try to arrange a time to come by and ask questions in person. if there is no phone number in the phone book or whatever
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listing is associate with that address, it will be more difficult to do that. host: grapevine, texas, democratic caller. caller: i had a post office box of the post office for 20 years even though i own my home for over 40 years. they do not really have a physical address for me. what i can't understand is why the republicans are so afraid of the senses. my question on the census is not asking with your illegal or legal, how can that possibly affect re-districting. we have that criminal tom delay in texas who before the census in the bush-janey administraticheney used it for .
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guest: let me take the first point about the p.o. boxes. even though you get your mail at a p.o. box, you will not deter census form a pill box. it will have to come to your physical address if you have a physical address where you haven't received mail because the post office does not deliver their, chances are, you will be visited by a census enumerator. host: she was talking about re- districting in texas and a little bit about illegal immigration guest. guest: the data that we collect is transmitted to the president and the congress by december 31 for the purposes of apportionment. that is to say how many
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representatives are allotted to each state. in the spring, around march of next year, the census information will be delivered to the state legislatures for re- districting purposes. that is a state operation. in terms of any questions about how the census data is used for re-districting, that will be up to the state legislatures. host: bridge, va., and our republican line. caller: if you ask for names in an illegal community, this thing will cost us $20 billion. i don't think people who are illegal will put their names down. i don't understand why they should. you probably get a better response if you did not ask for men -- names. the second thing is i would like you to shoot off the 10
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questions so we can hear them. if this is all about deciding where federal funds go, if 1 million illegal aliens are in a dense area and the respond and you have 1 million residents and get half a million illegal residents respond, the radically, the area in which 1 million illegal aliens will tend to get more federal funds than the area with the half-million legal residents. host: where is the sample of the census form? can we see it online now? guest: yes, you should go to it is a terrific website. and has more than anything you would want to know about the census. they put a lot of effort into the web site and it is pretty good host:
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new hampshire, go ahead. caller: i understand the how many and where and the constitutional aspects of this. i do not get where the rest of the questions come from. where -- what are the limits on privacy and how far and who decides what we are allowed to comment on? it was set up for a purpose. now we have eight other purposes for it. where do we limit that? guest: excellent question. as i mentioned, much of the information that the census bureau collects is covered by various statutes. if you go on line and look at the form, it will give an
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explanation for each question as to why they are asking that particular question including why they asked for names and why they asked for hispanic origin or ethnicity. . they provide a rationale for. each fo each question. host: we thank you for coming by and we hope you will update us as the senses continues. guest: thank you and thank you for cspan. host: we will focus on a very tight senate race in nevada. house majority leader harry reid is running and president barack obama will be fund- raising with the senate leader. let's have a news update from cspan ready. >> it is 9:16 eastern time are
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delivered the park and reports that consumer prices rose less than expected in january while prices excluding food and general actually fell. that is something that has not happened in more than a quarter- century. at 1:00 p.m., the president will announce a $1.5 billion plan for housing help at a town hall appearance in nevada. it is taking place in las vegas. the plan is aimed at spurring local solutions to the states hardest hit. a study to be released later today finds that premiums for medicare advantage plans offering medical and prescription drug coverage jumped over 14% on average in 2010 for this is after an increase of over 5% last year. the health care summit is scheduled for next week at the white house. no soldiers were ever in danger at fort jackson in north
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carolina. the army has been investigating food poisoning at its largest training base. the investigation has been going on for almost two months. those are some of the latest headlines on cspan radio. >> here is what is coming up on c-span -- the national endowment for democracy host the deli llama as he -- the dali lama as he receives a medal. president barack obama holds a town hall meeting in las vegas today. we will be there live starting at 1:00 p.m., eastern. our coverage of the conservative political action conference continues tomorrow with newt gingrich. the live on c-span tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern. more from cpac tomorrow evening with remarks from conservative talk and fox news host glenn back. that is it 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> sometimes i think history is
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a series of accidents. it is like a pile of cars in a snowstorm. >> how did the u.s. end up in vietnam? sunday, pulitzer prize-winning author ted morgan on the valley of death in the battle that ended french colonial rule in indochina. q&a, sunday night, on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we have the congressional reporter for"the las vegas son. bñun." you write that harry reid and president barack obama will appear together in las vegas and they have forged a deeper relationship that washington could have imagined when you're go for it was behind that? hguest: when president barack obama was elected and senator
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reid was the majority leader, there was not a clear understanding of how good friends they had become. we now know that early on, harry reid had encouraged president barack obama to run for president. he encouraged obama to run even though publicly, harry reid had been saying that he was neutral. he did not want to choose favorites. the other senators who were running, we have learned there was a game change the came out earlier this year the disclosed even further the extent of that conversation that harry reid and obama had had they have.
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they have formed a partnership where they are working to gather together to accomplish the president's agenda. there is a respect and affection between the two. host: it is written that senator reid meet president obama for something more, his political survival. looking at the race in nevada, the poll in milan -- in nevada says that harry reid is up against his opponents and the numbers are 49% vs. 39%. they have not had the primary there yet in nevada. is part of the reason for senator re-'s fall in the polls been president obama? guest: yes, his slip in the polls became ill -- since he
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became majority leader in 2007, nevada voted for obama. it was a 12% margin. there was great support for him in nevada but nevada remains an extremely independent state, very strong libertarian streak running through that stage. te. the partisan view of harry reid is not popular there. his popularity has declined steeply since he became majority leader. the two men need each other. obama needs senator reid to deal with the senate. it is moving like molasses these days. senator reid knees the popularity of obama to help them motivate a lackluster democratic base in nevada and get them to the polls this
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november for the two definitely need each other. host: will talk about senator re-'s senate race in november for the next half hour. -- senator harry reid's senate race in november for the next half hour. you mentioned the independent libertarian streak in nevada. what does harry reid due to appeal to those folks? guest: his campaign a few years ago, the tagline was " independent like nevada." they say that is no longer who he is. senator reid and his team are still promoting that idea but also trying to show voters in nevada that as majority leader, he can deliver for the state in a way that a young freshman senator who replaces him would not have the clout to do. obama is announcing this
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morning new housing aid for states. nevada is included in that. senator reid announced earlier this week transportation funding for nevada. being able to show nevadans that because of his clout and position, he can bring home resources to the state in a way that perhaps a junior member could not. the republicans are doing their best to show that he is -- to say that he is not doing enough. host: what about the dustup with a loss vegas mayor? -- las vegas mayor? the mayor said he will not attend the president's visit unless obama rectifies the situation.
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guest: las vegas city leaders are not pleased with the comments that obama has made where last vegas is a punch line. for line. for fiscal restraint. obama said in new hampshire that families have to be proven to with -- prudent with spending. vegas is a terrific town and the city has been extremely hurt by the recession. they have a lack of visitors wanting to come to vegas. people are watching their budget right now. any kind of perceived derogatory comment on fake is, any kind of -- on vegas, any kind of comments are taken seriously by the mayor and others.
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as soon as president barack obama said those comments, the entire nevada delegation shot off letters to him, saying this is not the kind of booster that we need in our town right now. the mayor was extremely upset and has continued to press obama. obama did-off a letter, a personal letter, back to senator reid that afternoon after the new hampshire comment. he said he did not mean anything poorly by it. one of the events today is with business leaders, the chamber of commerce, the las vegas visitors convention. he will be doing his best to make amends and show his support for the city. host: we are covering the town
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hall meeting with the president today at 1:00 p.m. eastern. lancaster, pa., democratic line. you are on the air. caller: you commentators talk too much and ask too many questions and do not take enough of phone calls. the other thing i would like to ask the lady is why the people in nevada even vote for harry reid? he is the weakest leader we have had in the senate since i can't remember. i democrat. even on the democratic shows they do not like harry reid or any of those so-called senators out in the midwest. guest: yes, there is a lot of discontent. you characterize it in one way. i think senator reid is attacked
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from the right but also from left. progressives have raised concerns that they want him to speak more on policy. harry reid was not able to carry the health bill issues over the finish line. he faces this difficulty. for a small state like nevada, he is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful federal elected official the state has seen in its history. there are those in the state who see that and appreciate what that position can bring for nevada. you are right, he definitely has a popularity problem and some policy issues that people are not pleased with. host: asheville, north carolina, good morning.
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caller: i agree with the previous caller about harry reid's popularity. i used to be a democrat but because of the progressives that they have allowed it to the party, i am no longer one. i think senator reid offers some of the worst leadership we have ever seen. also nancy pelosi and the congress. i don't think he can blame president obama or anyone else. he is very arrogant and if you called his office, you get a, like he will respond to you if you are an fellow are. he hasnevadan. we don't appreciate his act -- arrogance and listening to the people. that is the biggest problem. they are just not listening to the people and going ahead and promoting their own agenda. thank you. guest: both those calls were
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interesting because folks have said they were democrats or had voted msjpá and that really is emblematic of the situation that democrats face now, being a big tent party and seeing democrats make great gains in the last two elections, in the house and the senate, bringing in elected officials from states that are typically red states or more conservative districts, including nevada. it used to be a red states. . they are trying to keep all the voters in the democratic tent happy. that is an extremely difficult task for democrats. host: chicago, arlene, good morning. caller: i was listening to you talk about the reason for harry
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reid's lack of popularity. i am an independent and generally voted democratic. i would say that harry re-'s lack of popularity has nothing to do with his association with obama. it may, i don't know. i would say it has more to do with his weakness in advancing obama's agenda. i hear the complaints from democrats all the time. they do not think he is up to the charge of advancing president obama's agenda and i would agree. ñiin terms of the democrats havg a big tent, i would suggest that the republicans get a way bigger tent with the tea party group. they are so far to the right at this point that they even think that john mccain is a liberal,
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or something. i think it was said that the democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into the mental hospital. i would put it that way. guest: the caller represents the enormous frustration out there with the american people that the congress is sort of broken for this inability to act. a lot of that falls on the senate. the house has been able to pass so much of obama's agenda in the first year, so many pieces of legislation have stalled in the senate. i talked to a historic a few weeks ago said the senate has not changed but the senators have changed. you see the senate operating in a way where there is partisanship and one side
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blocking the other side but it has become what some are calling this hyper-partisan atmosphere where there is the unwillingness for either side to either -- to give. whether that is harry reid's fault for not being able to overcome that or the nature of the ins -- the way the institution works, boaters will have to decide -- voters will have to decide and not when they go to the polls. host: have you heard harry reid express frustration on not advancing the agenda? guest: yes, almost every week he says he is being blocked more than any time in history. the republicans will refuse -- disputes that and say he is not offering them enough chances to amend legislation or bring to the table their own ideas. publicly, both sides are guilty and they need to decide if they
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want to work together and try to advance some legislation or are they really going to continue this fight. host: give us a quick information on each of the potential candidates that harry reid may face in nevada. guest: the republicans were not able to get their top candidate. there is occurred congressman from nevada and a former congressman who they were trying to get to run. they both declined. there is a really wide pool in this fight the primary that we will have. it is that tuesday in june. you have the former party leader in nevada, she was a state
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senator for a term. she is supported by some of the establishment in nevada. her family has been in the casino business. she brings some baggage. there is a lot of criticism of her handling of the republican convention, the state party convention in nevada by the ron paul supporters. you might remember that the ron paul folks within the republican party -- she will be coming under scrutiny for that. she provides a real contrast to senator reid, being a woman. host: what about danny tartanian. guest: he is the son of a famous basketball coach grady is a
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businessman in town he has run for office. twice before and has not been successful. he is a fairly conservative republican, like sue lawden. he is also running. the concerns about him will be his inexperience. he has not held public office. what can bring to the table? -- what can he bring to the table? host: new orleans, democratic caller, go ahead caller: good morning and welcome for cspan. i'm offended by the way nancy pelosi and harry reid operate. i am wondering if the residents of nevada realize the clout they will lose if they lose harry reid. if they get a new republican senator in there it would be
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like starting all over as far as committees, anything coming to nevada. also, i'm a little disappointed with senator reid for not having the intestinal fortitude to advance the obama agenda. there are several ways he could have done it. if there would have been health- care several months ago, it would have been in effect already. republicans are very quick to say how they are not involved and want to complain about the 2000 + page bill when there is 169 amendments that were pushed through by the republicans. this caused the bill to be so enormous which caused a year of debate and several committees.
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-- in several committees. they developed these things and they complain about it. washington may be broke but it needs to be fixed. it really does. guest: yes, again, that frustration we are hearing from folks out there is released from this election cycle. ike leggett is interesting to look at what senator reid can and -- i think it is interesting to look at what senator reid can and cannot do. senator reid, from what i can tell by his positions and statements, supports the agenda and is trying to get it passed. doing that with a leadership style that some think is not strong enough and others say is more reflective of the times.
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many folks like to compare senator reid to lyndon johnson. they want him to be more like lyndon johnson was as the master of the senate and getting things done. %qtimes are really different. senators have much more independence and autonomy. they are not as beholden to the party as they were back in that 1950 is. host: what about the comment about senator reed losing clout? guest: i think that is an argument that senator re-'s team is definitely making. if you talk to elected officials in nevada, they know that if they need to talk to the federal government that they have an open door with senator reid who has a lot of clout to get stuff done. host: harry reid should know that putting the public option back in the health bill will boost popularity whether it
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passes or not. democrats would work to increase the majority, that is from twitter. caller: i want to talk about yucca mountain and the nuclear waste depository i have said we cannot have nuclear power until we get rid of every read. what is the status of yucca mountain development and what is his position on that? guest: there has been some really big news out of yucca mountain this year. president barack obama on the campaign trail said he would stop that project and he taking steps to end the project for it at the same time, the president is announcing new loan guarantees for the nuclear industry to build new nuclear power plants. he is doing a little bit of both. the i see it is what to do with
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the waste is that the waste will stay where it is right now which is mainly at these civilian nuclear power plants across the country. the president has created an energy department, a blue ribbon commission that will spend the next year and have studying alternatives to yucca mountain. this commission is headed by really respectable man, lee hamilton, the former head of the 9/11 commission, and brent scowcroft. these two men are heading up the panel and will be looking at the. president barack obama has zeroed out the funding in this proposed budget for this year for commanded and has said that he will pull the application that is pending before the nuclear regulatory commission. he is really ending the 25-year pursuit of a dump site in the nevada desert.
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host: should be viewed as a reprieve for the end of it? guest: people like to say in nevada that yucca mountain is like the car show bill in that will not die. -- is likely horror show the villain that will not die. the steps that the president is taking are the strongest steps that will be very difficult to reverse course after this. not that it would be impossible, but it would be difficult. host: let's hear from las vegas caller next, go ahead caller: i have lived here for 10 years. as far as president barack obama's statements about las vegas, nev., give me a break. nevada was in a slump long before those,.
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comments. we are already in debt. this has been in the newspaper a few times. if the politicians in nevada, along with the other elected officials increased gaming taxes like they should, they should pay higher taxes and have a state lottery. nevada would be one of the rich states if not the richest state in the union this very day. i am sure thousands if not millions of people throughout the country would agree with me on that. guest:]8 he brings up issues tt are right at the forefront of what is going on in carson city, the state capital. the state legislature meets every other year and is about to go into special session to deal with the billion dollar budget shortfall. these issues are what is on the table. nevada has enjoyed very low tax
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rate. there is no state income tax. the corporate taxes are small. 5e5ñsuwtpthere has been t increasing the taxt on the minig industry. they have an enormous gold mining industry in nevada. it is one of the largest in the world. there is talk about this geotaxis. -- there is a talk about casino taxes. the budget cuts and problems in nevada because the tax structure is difficult. host: out as the gaming tax work? guest: there is a tax on the casinos and there is always movement to tax them more. host: tax on their earnings? guest: yes, it is a tax on earnings. host: our democrats line is
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next. caller: what is your opinion on obama? i am 18 years old and i am nervous because by and on tv. what is your opinion on obama? guest: i am a journalist so i will not have an opinion on things because i try to observe and write about what we see and what other folks are saying. the president has this and more numb -- enormous popularity when he came into office. he still enjoys popularity although it is slipping a bit. i think that is pretty natural for what happens in the post- tournament. of the first year of a president. host: capitol hilare you from n?
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guest:no. host: you wrote about mccain and harry reid last week. john mccain is a great name caller is what harry reid said. he said he should leave barack obama alone and join with us to do great things for the country. he said he thinks the people of nevada is giving the response. is this a change in the relationship between john mccain and harry reid? guest: it is not necessarily a change. the two have had a rocky relationship for years. some of the deals with a mountain. john mccain has been a supporter of of yucca mountain. harry reid has not. harry reid said that it could not stand john mccain, at one point.
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the 2000 election amplified that. they both spoke after the election -- the 2008 election amplified that. they both spoke after the election. as we saw with senator mccain now facing the primary challenge from the conservative right out in arizona, it may be helpful for him to shore up his credentials and go after the democratic leader who is not popular among those folks and for senator reid to fight back is probably good for senator reid to show his folks in nevada that he will fight for some of the stuff john mccain says. host: next caller. caller: my comment is about the clout that he has from people in nevada.
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is he going to give them back some of their 401k money to buy their boat? the problem got kickbacks from the derivatives markí?ñ. he has financial cronies he has been working with for the last 15 years. is that his way of rewarding the people of nevada? i don't think it will fall for it. guest: i am not sure what to say to that. i don't know that there is anything like kickbacks' going on for it most elected officials, senator reid included, will try to bring back your marks -- earmarks for project in nevada. senator reid has said he is not
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shy about asking for federal money for the needs of nevada. almost 90% of the state is owned by the federal government. it prohibits the state from developing the land in ways that could be enhancing revenue. the senator, like most other elected officials, will try to get his fair share for the state. host: back to the senate for a moment -- and they are in recess and back next week how will they proceed forward with the jobs bill? secondly, the health-care debate is moving to blair house leader in the week with a summit at the white house. what is senator reid planning to do on the hill when that bill comes down? guest: that reflects some of the work i have to do this afternoon. on the jobs bill, there will be a closer vote on monday morning which will be a vote to advance
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the bill. we can see if they get the 60 votes needed to advance it. we saw what happened went there was this larger bipartisan jobs bill and senator recently scuttled it in favor of a smaller bill. he said at the time that he was afraid that the bigger bill was getting too loaded down with special interests. he said it was diluting what he thought was the important message. he caused a lot of problems by scuttling that larger bills. because problems with his caucus and the republicans. -- she caused problems with his caucus and the republicans. -- he caused problems with his caucus and the republicans. the republicans are upset
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because they felt they had this bipartisan deal and now this bill is a democratic-only bel pre id it has four key elements that republicans have supported. it will be interesting to hear their arguments if they cannot support this, why not? is it because they want a bigger bill or do they have genuine problems with this bill? there was a story yesterday that harry reid was reaching out because he only as a potential 59 democratic votes in the senate now. it said he was reaching out to republicans, including the new republican from massachusetts, scott brown, saying that scott brown is someone who might be interested in the jobs bill. i don't know if he habits -- has the votes are there will be a test of what this session will look like part of host: on
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health care, is he glad to see the spotlight on the president? guest: i don't know the answer to that. everyone would like to see the president play a greater role in health care. you definitely heard that at some point last year from democrats one thing the president to play a bigger role. host: bloomington, indiana, on our independent line. caller: i am enjoying listening to the young lady. i welcome her intelligence and presentation. i believe we need term limits. i think that is one of the biggest problems in congress and the term limits. it was set last april that even after nearly destroying the
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world, the finance lobby still owned capitol hill. senator reid received over $1 million from these lobbyists. i think that is what the major, major problems in our government today. until that is result, -- until that is a result -- a result -- resolved, these people also make up the president's cabinet. guest: these are fundamental issues in our government. should there be term limits? you can see the arguments that both sides make which are compelling. we want to have term limits and get rid of the folks that have been there too long and get entrenched in the power structure, maybe get too cozy with lobbyists. on the flip side, you can see
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the benefits of folks to understand how to draft legislation, how to have the relationships to come to agreements when both sides are fighting so strongly against each other. it is a longstanding debate host: nashville, honored democrats long. good morning. caller: good morning. we know the main problem is obama himself. he has put forth the greatest legislature i have ever heard of my life. i am 70 years old. i have listened to everything he has had to say. they block whatever obama comes up with. that is the problem. they do it on the democrats'
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side of the republican side and even the independence because they have gained a lot. everybody wants their vote. 59 is not good enough. the problem is not what is coming forth. does not what the country needs. everybody is trying to go against obama. they will make a very critical in the first four years. that is the problem and that is what we should address. this black president is trying to give us something we have never had and everybody is blocking it because he is who he is. host: what do you think the president will do differently with congress this year? guest: we have seen him return to what he did last year in terms of reaching out. you mentioned the health care vote next week.
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you saw some of the early on the obama presidency where he invited republicans up to the white house. they had parties. they have some social event to break bread. they want to lay down the arms of the campaign and see if they can work together. obama had gone to capitol hill and spoken to the republicans in their weekly meeting. you are seeing that again. he is trying to put his agenda forward. i think you heard a lot of that in the state of the union address where he said to try some common sense and try to act like adults. there is a little bit of scolding in that address, i thought. he was trying to sort of tell folks that we can keep doing things the way we are doing it,
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but is that what people came to washington for. can't we try to work together? he is a great believer in bipartisanship. we have seen the republicans cannot vote -- the republicans not vote for his bills. every republican voted against him. there is definitely bad sense that republicans -- that sense that the republicans do not want to support his policy. there have been a bipartisan breakthrough on a number of pieces of legislature but still, on the big-ticket items,. he is trying to reach out and keep the door open. host: our republican line is next. caller: harry reid is the not --
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is the reason why we need term limits. that is for sure. i agree with the lady who called . the health care bill could of been passed because the democrats got the majority of the house, the senate, and the president. the problem is obama trying to explain to us on tv. they just had this commission, the deficit commission. there will be eight republicans? eight democrats and obama will appoint four more. that will make it 12. that is not bipartisanship. people are getting upset like the deportees. -- like the tea parties. obama will be only one term because we cannot afford him.
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guest: he mentioned that he parties. -- thetea parties. we are seeing the rise of that and that is a strong force out there in the country. host: is there a candidate in the senate race that is benefiting from tea parties? guest: there is one that will be entering the senate race in the bottom so that may be a difficulty for the republican candidates because there's now a third party candidate back and siphon off the republican supporters of the republican candidates. the race in nevada will be one of the races to watch this year, it will be a very feisty primary, a feisty general election. senator reid is one of the most endangered democrats


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